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ICU with Dedicated Neurosciences Care

ICU with Dedicated Neurosciences Care

St. Mary has a 20-bed ICU (Intensive Care Unit) with 8 rooms dedicated to Neurosciences Care to provide the highest level of expert care for our most critically ill patients. Nurses providing Neurosciences Care are specially trained to provide the most advanced monitored care for the most critically ill neurology and neurosurgical patients. Neurosciences Care specializes in treatment of patients with strokes, back injuries, aneurysms, seizures and neurovascular diseases, as well as brain tumors.

Advances in neuroradiology procedures including embolization of vascular abnormalities, intra-arterial and intravenous tPA and clot retrieval bring new challenges to critical care nurses caring for Neurosciences patients in the ICU. Treatments such as medically induced coma and therapeutic hypothermia, as well as bispectral monitoring of a patient’s level of consciousness and monitoring levels of intracranial pressure, electrical activity, and tissue oxidation in the brain are among advanced nursing care provided in the specialized unit. Neurosciences Care nurses have extensive training in determining whether subtle changes in a patient’s condition are part of the healing process or a signal that additional medical intervention is needed.

And while patient care is top notch, so are the unit features:

  • Large private patient suites, each with its own bathroom, and comfortable lounge chairs for family members
  • Flush-to-the-wall bed panels and glass dividers between nursing stations serve to improve line of sight and support increased interaction and communication for staff, patients, and families
  • Overhead lifts to assist with repositioning and transporting patients
  • Motorized patient beds outfitted with special air mattresses to help prevent pressure ulcers
  • A language translation program of standardized “yes” and “no” patient care questions
  • An internal music system for soothing sound therapy
  • The high-tech computerized beds not only have special air mattresses to protect the patient’s skin, but also play music for soothing sound therapy and offer a language translation program of standardized “Yes” and “No” questions relating to patient care, such as “Are you in pain?”; “Is your position comfortable?”; “Do you need to use the toilet?” – all stated in a patient’s native language. The beds are motorized to make moving them easier and to help rotate patients. The beds also have a percussion mode to gently loosen secretions that tend to collect in the lungs of immobile patients.

    To facilitate that the most up-to-date information is contained in a patient’s medical record, computer documentation stations are located within patient rooms along with wireless barcode scanners, and also at nursing stations outside patient rooms and at unique physician documentation centers throughout the unit.

    The unit has a dedicated nurse educator and a simulation mannequin residing in a training room to provide hands-on learning opportunities in simulated medical-emergency scenarios. This ensures staff is knowledgeable of the latest standards in advanced care and education remains an ongoing process as technology and best practices continue to evolve.

    Multipurpose rooms for patient and family education and activities, and physician consulting rooms are among additional unit amenities.

    “The high level of patient care in the ICU benefits the intense care needs of some of the most vulnerable patients we treat. This is a significant resource that strengthens the capabilities of our entire neurosciences program.”

     ~Benjamin Solomon, MD
    Medical Director, St. Mary ICU